The Last Cut (A Mamur Zapt Mystery)

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9780006510819: The Last Cut (A Mamur Zapt Mystery)

The latest novel in Michael Pearce's award-winning series, set in the Egypt of the 1900s. 'Irresistible fun' Time Out. Everything in Egypt depends on the water of the Nile. So when an attempt is made to blow up a key regulator in the Cairo Barrage, Gareth Owen - the Mamur Zapt, Chief of Cairo's Secret Police - is hurriedly called in. What exactly is a regulator, though? Owen doesn't know. But then, he doesn't know many things: who is the Lizard Man, for instance, and why does he appear to have a grudge against Egypt's irrigation system? Quite unconnected (or is it?) is the ceremonial cutting of a dam which allows water to flow through the city. It is a ceremony which always requires policing, but on this occasion more than ever, for it is going to be the Last Cut. Which makes the discovery of a young woman's body at the site of the dam extremely embarrassing. Is this the traditional ritual sacrifice? Definitely not, says Owen - but this could be another of the things he doesn't know...

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About the Author:

Michael Pearce grew up in the (then) Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. He returned there later to teach, and retains a human rights interest in the area. He has recently retired from his academic post to write full time.

From Booklist:

Witty, intelligent, and charming, Pearce's Mamur Zapt series never fails to please. In the latest installment, the delightful Gareth Owen, Mamur Zapt (chief of the secret police) of Cairo, is called in when one of the city's main dams is sabotaged with a well-placed bomb. It's urgent to find out what happened, since the bombing occurs on the eve of the Cut, a quasi-pagan celebration during which the waters of the Nile are released to irrigate the crops. If the dam is destroyed, the celebration will be a castastrophe. Adding to Owen's worries is the body of a young woman, which has been left on the spot used in past centuries to sacrifice a maiden during the Cut. Now, what with bombings and dead maidens, the locals are worried that the gods are trying to tell them something. Are the tragedies the work of the mythic and mysterious Lizard Man? Owen knows Lizard Man isn't real, but if he doesn't find a logical explanation, panic could rage through Cairo's normally peaceful streets. A gentle gem of a book. Emily Melton
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Michael Pearce
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MICHAEL PEARCE
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